Zardari sub pey bhari..

By Omar Ali

Asif Ali Zardari’s astounding survival as President of Pakistan is captured well in this poem by Mohammed Ayub (Punjabi, with English translation).

A friend’s comment on this topic:

In an established liberal democracy, Zardari would never have come to power and probably would have been convicted. But so would be Nawaz Sharif. So would many associates of Musharraf and of Zia ul Haq. But I think one should give credit to Zardari where it is due. He was an accidental president but the way he handled himself and led his party after Benazir was killed was impressive. He tried hard to make a coalition with Sharifs and respected other political parties’ sphere. This tolerance of dissent was unprecedented in Pakistani politics. His biggest mistake was that he frittered away the good will by opposing the lawyers movement. His biggest achievement is the 18th amendment which if implemented fully will demolish the unitary centralised state. His failures are many but there are many others who bear MORE responsibility for those failures. If the economy has tanked, this should be laid at the door of our asinine generals who are responsible for the civil war that their trainees have started and the grandstanding they never tire off. I will sympathetic to Zardari because he is being singled out for failures that are not of his making in addition to his own. failures.
My own comments: I have a soft spot for budnaam Zardari. I wish he was just one shade less corrupt and his team was one shade more competent (and I REALLY wish he didnt have a team led by Babar Awan and Rahman Malik), but he is not the root of all evil. He has compromised with everyone including the army and does not deserve the endless invective against him….its like every corrupt and incompetent person in Pakistan (a nation built on corruption, like so many others) likes to think all problems will be solved if THIS incompetent and corrupt person leaves….and his foreign policy is orders of magnitude superior to the BS that flows out of GHQ. In fact, for decades GHQ has managed its domestic dominance by staying in a state of near-war and kidnapping and killing people for trying to undermine that narrative and here is someone who says let us trade and do business and just give me my cut…I think that is not ideal, but its superior to GHQ’s version of maintaining control… I am sure there are many many stories of projects shelved because capitalists dont want to meet his demands for money and prefer to wait till Uncle Jimmy and his friends in GHQ are back in full power…When the person in charge is from outside the main elite circle, his demands for an excessive cut do look painfully unfair …and maybe he IS too greedy and asks for more than Uncle Jimmy.. but his (President Asif Zardari’s) survival would be better for Pakistan than another coup or “behind-the-scenes-coup”..
And of course, the obligatory comment from Khalid Ahmed.
Courtesy » Brown Pundits

Urinating on dead bodies is an insult, war is the crime

. US deplores video of Marines urinating on dead

By ROBERT BURNS and PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has promised Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai a full investigation of an Internet video that purports to depict four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters – a video both men condemned Thursday as deplorable.

At least two of the four men have been identified as Marines based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., said a Marine official, speaking on condition of anonymity because there is an active criminal investigation of the incident.

In a public statement, Panetta said such behavior is “entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military” and that those responsible will be held accountable.

The video, posted on the Internet, shows men in Marine combat gear standing in a semi-circle over three bodies. It’s not clear whether the dead were Taliban or civilians or someone else. The title on the posting called them Taliban insurgents and said the men were from Camp Lejeune.

Read more » Associated Press (AP)

Pro-democracy protest: Protestors threaten civilian unrest if govt toppled

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Civil Society Network and Center for Peace protested against the judiciary and army on Thursday, warning the two institutions of civilian unrest if they tried to topple the PPP led coalition government.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdullah Malik, advisor to the Punjab governor, said that “The participants sensing the current democratic to be in danger have decided to come out on the roads to show their solidarity with the democracy.”

He added that only people had the right to change the government through their vote in a democracy and not the judge or the generals.

PPP members along with prominent representatives of civil society demonstrated in favour of the current democratic government at the Liberty roundabout.

Participants warned the judiciary and army that if it tried to topple the PPP led coalition government by using the Memogate affair as an excuse, then the civil society will protest on the streets.

Civil Society Network and Center for Peace members, including IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, Shah Taj Qizilbash, Abdullah Malik along with South Asia Free Media Association’s (SAFMA) Anjum Rashid, Imtiazul Haq, Shoaib Adil and Amina Malik participated in the demonstration.

Other PPP members at the protest included Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Azma Bukhari and Altaf Qureshi. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

India polio free? Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria still to go

By Omar Ali

Almost certainly, yes!

That leaves three countries with active endemic polio: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
All three are also infected with Islamist fanatics who claim that oral polio drops are an anti-viagra produced by the CIA to decrease Muslim population (I am not making this up). That propaganda, and the difficulty of organizing a vaccination campaign in the middle of a civil war, makes it hard to totally eliminate polio in these countries. ….

Read more » Brown Pundits

Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Why a Coup Is Unlikely in Pakistan

By Tom Wright

Is there a coup in the offing in Pakistan? Not likely, say former Pakistan military and intelligence officials.

There’s a lot of speculation of a military takeover amid rising tensions between army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The tensions have their roots in the U.S. raid on a Pakistani garrison town in May, which lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s army was not forewarned about the raid and was deeply embarrassed.

The emergence in October of a memo allegedly sent by Mr. Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party-led administration to Washington in the wake of the raid, asking for U.S. help in forestalling a coup by an angered military, was the start of the current troubles.

Mr. Gilani, under army pressure, fired Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, for his alleged involvement in the affair. Mr. Haqqani denies the allegations. His removal was supposed to be the end of the affair, Pakistani military and civilian officials say.

But Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party, demanded a Supreme Court investigation of the memo.

The court’s probe, which is underway, has escalated tensions between the civilian government and army. Mr. Gilani says the investigation is politically motivated, and has blamed the military for bypassing the government in answering the court’s questions.

Continue reading Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Pluralism on trial in Pakistan

Haqqani vision of a tolerant nation integrated into the world community aligns with Pakistani and US interests

By Farahnaz Ispahani

As US-Pakistani relations plunge to new depths, Americans need to look beyond media reports on tactical issues such as aid and counterterrorism. The direction Pakistan takes will be of great strategic significance to the world.

The manner in which my husband, former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, is being treated in our homeland reflects the shrinking political space ….

Read more » gulfnews.com

Generals & Judges waiting for their savior Mansoor Ijaz a Memogate Millionaire – Kab Awaogae, Kab Awogae – Aaja Meri barbad Mohabat ke

» Anmol Ghari » YouTube

— O — O — O — O —

Security will be provided to Mansoor Ijaz: Army

ISLAMABAD: The meeting of corps commanders headed by the Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Thursday decided to provide Mansoor Ijaz with security upon his arrival in the country for the hearing of memogate case, DawnNews reported.

Pakistan’s military chief met top commanders amid a widening rift between the powerful armed forces and the civilian government.

The meeting at GHQ lasted for 10 hours which was not only attended by the corps commanders but by the Principle Staff Officers of Pakistan Army as well.

According to sources, it was decided not to compromise on national security.

Memogate hearing on January 16, by the commission formed by Supreme Court, also came under discussion at the meeting.

It was decided that the central character of controversial memogate issue Mansoor Ijaz would be provided security by the army upon his arrival in the country.

Statements issued by military and the government on memogate issue also came under discussion in the meeting.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/12/security-will-be-provided-to-mansoor-ijaz-army.html

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Saleem Shazad commission has failed its mandate, argues Express Tribune

Who killed Saleem Shahzad?

By Editorial

The purpose of government commissions, it seems, is to obfuscate rather than illuminate. They exist not to investigate but to give the impression of hard work. So, it was in the case of the judicial commission investigating the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad. The commission was supposed to find out who was responsible for the killing but in its final report has declined to do so. It was meant to wrap up in six weeks but has ended up taking six months. In the end, all the suspicions everyone had after Mr Shahzad was murdered remain but we are no closer to the truth. The commission has recommended giving Rs3 million in compensation to the dead journalist’s family but it has denied them the opportunity of getting justice.

The investigative process of the commission was flawed from the start. It faced inordinate and unexplainable delays in getting Mr Shahzad’s email and cell phone data, information that may have been crucial in solving his case but which could well have been scrubbed of anything incriminating by the intelligence agencies. When he was murdered, the initial reaction among journalists and human rights groups was to blame the military, since Mr Shahzad’s reporting focused on its alleged ties to militants. Indeed, just two days before he was killed, he had written a story on the infiltration of al Qaeda in the Pakistan Navy. The commission’s inconclusive report will do little to allay those suspicions.

By failing its mandate, the judicial commission has also failed in its task to help out vulnerable journalists. Having seen that a prominent reporter can be killed with no consequences for those involved is sure to have a chilling effect on the profession. Will those who report critically on the military refrain from doing so in the future for fear that they may end up in a ditch somewhere? The commission has also shown Mr Shahzad’s killers, whoever they may be, that they can operate with impunity. Already, Pakistan has been described as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists by Reporters without Frontiers, with 10 journalists having been killed here in the last decade. The failure of the commission may have ended up making it just a little more dangerous.

Courtesy:  The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2012.

Pakistan’s Generals & Judges beg Memogate Millionaire to come

– Mansoor Ijaz’s visa application not yet received: Foreign Office

By APP

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said its High Commission in London or any other consulate has not yet received a visa application from Mansoor Ijaz, a key character in the memogate scandal.

“We have not received a visa application by Mansoor Ijaz either at the High Commission in London or any other consulate,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit in his weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office Thursday.

During the proceedings of the investigative commission probing the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz’s lawyer, Akram Shaikh said that his client was not being issued a visa for Pakistan.

The commission directed the embassies in Switzerland and United Kingdom to issue a multiple visa to Mansoor Ijaz upon the receipt of his passport and application without other conditions.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

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